Saints face Racing Metro in European Rugby Champions Cup opener

Saints beat Bath to win last season's Amlin Challenge Cup (picture: Linda Dawson)
Saints beat Bath to win last season's Amlin Challenge Cup (picture: Linda Dawson)

Saints will start their first campaign in the European Rugby Champions Cup with a mouthwatering meeting with Racing Metro in Paris on October 18.

It is a clash between the two fancied teams in Pool 5, with Jim Mallinder’s men desperate to get off to a flyer in France this season having lost at Castres in the opening round of Heineken Cup games last year.

Saints were eliminated at the pool stages on that occasion, dropping into the Amlin Challenge Cup, which they went on to win.

But they have high hopes of progressing in the main competition this year, after being handed a draw which also includes Ospreys and Treviso.

Saints will host Ospreys in the second round of games on October 25, with a double-header against Treviso spread over the first two weekends of December. The Italian outfit host the first game before heading to Franklin’s Gardens a week later.

Saints then go to Swansea to face Ospreys in January, as they did last season, when they completed the double over the Welshmen.

They conclude their pool stage endeavours with a home game against Racing, who boast former Northampton players Brian Mujati and Juandre Kruger, on the weekend of January 23.

Exact kick-off times, dates and television coverage are still to be confirmed for rounds three to six.

Saints’ European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures:

Saturday, October 18: Racing Metro 92 (a) (6.15pm on Sky Sports)

Saturday, October 25: Ospreys (h) (5.15pm on Sky Sports)

December 5/6/7: Treviso (a)

December 12/13/14: Treviso (h)

January 16/17/18: Ospreys (a)

January 23/24/25: Racing Metro (h)